Auto Service World
News   February 21, 2019   by Adam Malik

MEMA slams tariff report secrecy

The decision that the U.S. Department of Commerce’s report on Section 232 tariffs on motor vehicles and motor vehicle parts will not be made public immediately has the leading automotive manufacturer’s group steaming.

The Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association – which represents motor vehicle parts makers for the OE and aftermarket segments – said it is “alarmed and dismayed” and is calling for the full release of the report.

“It is critical that our industry have the opportunity to review the recommendations and advise the White House on how proposed tariffs, if they are recommended, will put jobs at risk, impact consumers, and trigger a reduction in U.S. investments that could set us back decades,” the group said. “Secrecy around the report only increases the uncertainty and concern across the industry created by the threat of tariffs.”

Tariffs would hit smaller suppliers first, the group said, as their biggest costs are raw materials/inputs and salaries. Because of tariffs on steel and aluminum, costs are already high, the group said before warning of future layoffs.

“But the impacts would be long-term and far-reaching. Every single U.S.-made car and truck has imported components and assembly. Tariffs on autos and auto parts would affect every make and model sold in the U.S. and would result in higher prices for all vehicles,” MEMA’s statement said.

When added to steel and aluminum tariffs and those on imports from China, the cumulative effect would be “devastating.”

“The importation of motor vehicle parts is not a risk to our national security, and not a single company in the domestic auto industry requested this investigation. To the contrary, the imposition of these tariffs would put our economic security and leadership in technology in jeopardy,” MEMA said.

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